The Sewer Section provides maintenance and improvements to the City’s sewer collection systems. The sanitary sewer system is approximately 120 miles in length and the stormwater collection system is approximately 163 miles.
The responsibilities of the Sewer Section include replacing or repairing storm inlets and manholes, inspecting and cleaning inlets and televising and cleaning sewer lines. By maintaining the several-hundred miles of storm and sanitary sewers, this division helps to ensure that outgoing water is transported safely to its designated location.
For additional information regarding the Sewer Section please review the topics below or contact the Sewer Foreman, Rob Pluta, at 847.926.1150.
WATER IN BASEMENT
Call the Sewer section at 847.926.1150 or Public Works at 847.432.0807 and we will send someone out to check the city lines and determine if this is the homeowner’s responsibility or the city. If this is an emergency and occurs during non-business hours please call the Police Department Non-Emergency line at 847.432.7730.
SWIMMING POOL DRAINAGE
Residents are reminded of the Highland Park City Code requirements pertaining to the discharge of water from residential swimming pools. City Ordinance Article XII requires that swimming pools be drained directly into a sanitary sewer. This ensures that harmful chemicals can be removed at a treatment plant. Discharging pool water into storm sewers, ravine streams or other natural water bodies is illegal.
During spring and fall maintenance, pool water should be drained into the house sanitary sewer, or a City sanitary sewer manhole located in the public right of way. If a City sanitary sewer is used for discharge, it is the responsibility of the homeowner, or designated pool contractor, to properly barricade and secure the area around the sanitary sewer manhole. Discharge of swimming pool water into storm sewer systems or any ravine, either public or private, is strictly prohibited. Proper Discharging of Pool Water
Appropriate Draining Locations
For questions regarding appropriate draining locations, please call the Sewer Foreman, Rob Pluta, at 847.926.1150.
ROUTINE SEWER CLEANING
City crews perform routine cleaning operations on the sanitary sewers throughout the year. This is done to remove tree roots and debris from the sanitary sewer system. This process improves sewer performance and reduce the chance of sewer backups and other related problems.
The cleaning process causes a vacuum in the sewer, which will not affect most homes. However, some homes may experience problems with inadequate or partially blocked drain vents. The vacuum may cause P-traps (the s-shaped bend in the pipe under sinks and drains) to be sucked dry.
Residents who notice a sewer smell are advised to run a small amount of water in their drains to refill these traps. Residents may also notice a bubbling or gurgling noise during cleaning operations. Most of the City’s sanitary sewer system is cleaned on a three-year cycle. Some locations in the City are cleaned as often as every three months, depending on conditions in the area.
If you have any questions about the sewer maintenance program, please call Sewer Foreman, Rob Pluta, at 847.926.1150.
Flooding occurs most commonly from heavy rainfall when natural watercourses do not have the capacity to carry and drain excess water faster than nature delivers, and when water inundation occurs resulting in higher than normal river levels. Often times these unfortunate situations are unpredictable, but the City of Highland Park works hard to maintain the city to try and prevent such incidents from occurring.
Additional information regarding flooding, prevention tips, and FAQ's can be viewed here.
VOLUNTARY SEWER LATERAL COST SHARE PROGRAM
The voluntary sanitary sewer lateral cost sharing program provides assistance to residents in alleviating sewage backups occurring in their homes. The cost share program pays up to 20% of the total cost of the sanitary sewer backup improvement, or a maximum of $1,260, whichever is less. The cost share program is applicable to only sanitary sewer laterals and to single-family homes.
The City owns and maintains approximately 130 miles of sanitary sewer main of various pipe sizes and pipe materials. Connected to the City’s sanitary sewer main are approximately 10,000 private sanitary sewer lateral connections, owned and maintained by property owners. These sanitary sewer laterals run from the City sewer main (in the street or parkway area) towards and into the homes. The size and condition of these private sewer laterals vary greatly, with the majority of them being either 4-inch or 6-inch in diameter.
The City sanitary sewer mains and the resident sewer lateral pipes are designed to carry only waste water coming from the homes or businesses. The sanitary pipes are not meant to carry rain water. If the sanitary sewer lateral is not properly maintained (breaks, blockages, and/or leaks), these pipes will contribute to inflow and infiltration (I/I) of storm water into the laterals and eventually to the City’s sanitary sewer mains. The additional stormwater in the sanitary sewer could lead to City sewer surcharges and/or residential lateral surcharges resulting in sewer backups inside homes.
The voluntary cost sharing program is available to property owners on a first-come, first-serve basis. The cost share can be applied to a stand-alone sanitary sewer lateral rehabilitation projects such as lateral sewer replacement or sewer lining, or other approved flood reduction measures such as sewer backflow devices or overhead sewer systems.
Prior to the City authorizing the cost sharing program, a building permit will be required for the work. As part of building permit, the City will inspect the property for any cross connection of storm sewer laterals to sanitary sewer laterals. If found, the property owners are required to disconnect the cross connection laterals at their own expense. Upon approval of building permit inspections, the City would reimburse 20% of the total cost of the improvement, or a maximum of $1,260, whichever is less.
For more information on the voluntary sanitary sewer lateral cost sharing program, please visit the City of Highland Park website at http://www.cityhpil.com/government/city_departments/public_works/voluntary_sewer_lateral_cost_share_program2.php or contact the Sewer Foreman, Rob Pluta, at 847.926.1150, during normal business hours.
White Smoke and Pungent Smell During Lining Process, See Details
Sewer lining is a cost effective construction technology to rehabilitate and extend the functionality of sewers. This annual sewer lining contract allows deteriorated sanitary sewer pipes to be repaired using the cured-in-place piping (CIPP) methodology in selected sewer pipes within the City. The use of Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP) Lining has been the industry standard for quite some time and is used by all government agencies including State and Federal agencies. The work is performed without the disruption or added expense of open-cutting the streets, damaging mature trees along streets, or inconveniencing residents. Use of cured-in-place liner has been shown to be an extremely effective repair methodology with costs substantially less than traditional open excavation method of pipe replacement. Lining locations will be determined by the Public Works Department based on age of pipe, pipe condition, and using existing televised sewer line reports.
You will receive a letter and notice if you are in the rehabilitation area.
Below are links to the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the resin that is used during the lining process which is a styrene-based resin that is considered non-toxic at low levels, as well as a short Q&A. There is also an industry website that addresses many of the questions about styrene: https://youknowstyrene.org/health-and-safety/consumers/
WATER ON ROADWAY
Call Public Works at 847.432.0807 and we will send someone to your location to investigate the problem. If this is an emergency and occurs during non-business hours please call the Police Department Non-Emergency line at 847.432.7730.
We will also check to make sure inlets are clear of debris to allow for proper drainage.
WATER IN YARD
Call the Sewer Section at 847.926.1150 or the main Public Works line at 847.432.0807 and we will send someone to your location to investigate the problem. If this is an emergency and occurs during non-business hours please call the Police Department Non-Emergency line at 847.432.7730.
We will also check to make sure inlets are clear of debris to allow for proper drainage.
WATER BACKUP (SINK/TOILET)
Call a plumber or, if you believe the flooding is due to a water main or sewer issue, call the Sewer Section at 847.926.1150 or the main Public Works line at 847.432.0807 and we will send someone to your location to investigate the problem. If this is an emergency and occurs during non-business hours please call the Police Department Non-Emergency line at 847.432.7730.
Call the Sewer Section at 847.926.1150 or the main Public Works line at 847.432.0807 and we will send someone to your location to investigate the problem and if needed we will complete a dye test to determine the responsibility of the hole.
GREEN RAVINE WATER
If you notice green water coming from the ravine, there is no need to worry. The city completed a dye test with the storm line, and this is completely safe. Call the sewer department at 847.926.1150 with any additional questions.